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Comment Re:Every intelligent person (Score 5, Insightful) 517

I think you will find most people are NOT freaking out about it. The media are throwing their toys out of the pram somewhat but day-to-day it has had little impact. Business are still investing as the realisation sets in that the UK economy is so big [5th largest in the World after Germany] that the EU cannot shut the door completely and keep them out. I notice also that large non-EU economies are tripping over themselves to position for new trade deals with the UK. Australia and New Zealand for example are quick out of the blocks. The UK isn't some tinpot 3rd world country - it's a huge financial and economic power with the 5th largest military in the world, for a tiny country who also happen to own lots of shiny missiles that can turn cities into glass carparks [and no they are not under US control]. Brexit, more than anything else, was a two-fingered gesture to the political establishment in the UK and in the EU whose lack of democracy is somewhat breathtaking. The leave mob might not have had a plan but the scare tactics of Remain really blew up in their face. Wheeling out Obama who basically threatened the UK economy was a complete disaster. You could have heard the slapping of foreheads all over London. Centuries of history have proved quite categorically is you threaten the UK people or put their backs to the wall they will lash out. As for science there funding in theory would be replaced by the UK funding. I suspect those whose funding is spent on Climate Change and fluffy Environmental research are sweating as the current UK government may not be quite as keen to throw money at them. Some of us aren't quite so keen to live in a Germany-dominated super state. It didn't work out too well last time and Greece is a good example of what happens when you surrender to the central EU establishment. Other EU countries might have lost a competitor but at the same time a huge market is being shutoff. One final comment - Remainers were claiming that the EU meant peace in Europe for 70 years. Funny, I thought the presence of the thousands of US and British troops in Germany plus the US, UK and French Nuclear Deterrent had something to do with it. Or maybe the Cold War didn't happen.

Comment Bah! Just a toy (Score 2) 14

You could always make these guys an offer. They might be interested in offloading it.

One supersonic nuclear bomber. Excellent for doing the shopping, dropping off the kids or penetrating soviet air-defences to deliver some instant sunshine.

Well maintained, 2 careful owners. Comes with a spare set of keys and owners manual.

Pick-up or will deliver for $10,000 a mile.

Comment One commercial system... (Score 1) 409

There is a system that's been on sale in Australia for a number of years - it is available in the US and Europe also. It's called C-Bus. The product comprises switches, controllers, relays etc and is available primarily in a wired configuration but there are wireless products available also.

It's main use is really in the commercial sphere due to the cost but it is used in high-end homes also. Whilst the hardware is commercial, Clipsal have recently published the serial protocol specifications [as used by the serial interface, not the device communication protocol itself].

For a look at the product range see here. {That isn't a Clipsal website but it gives a good idea of the product range}. Providing it's installed and wired correctly it is extremely reliable and easy to maintain. It also scales very well.

Comment Re:But does it work? (Score 1) 707

Not quite. If you blow positive on the road-side machine they arrest you and take you to the nick. You are then breathalysed again with one of these. If that is STILL positive then you are charged with the offence and then normally bailed to appear in court. If it's negative then you are given a bit of a lecture and then told to bugger off and don't do it again.

The result of the machine at the station IS recognised by the court so that's enough to get you banned.

There has been challenges to this in the UK but the UK Judiciary isn't quite a flexible as US courts so the chances of that defense working are pretty well zero unless the coppers cocked up and didn't calibrate the machine that night or something.

As for the blood sample, the police will ask if you want to have one taken so it can be checked [you can have a sample as well]. You don't have do but it's worth doing as it just MIGHT get you off the hook if the result is borderline.

Here in Oz they have Booze Buses where they block the road and breathalyse whoever they feel like. If you blow positive they have everything nicely ready in the bus including the accurate machine etc. ready for customers - and they LOVE doing it at 8:30 in the morning also.

Comment My wife looked after her (Score 4, Interesting) 158

My wife [a senior nurse] came home from work one day about 4 years ago saying that she and her staff had been looking after an old lady on a ward at Epsom General Hospital. One of the surgeons pointed her out and said she was rather special since had named the planet Pluto. Apparently the old lady was very pleasant and polite but hadn't told anyone of her claim to fame.

Not really believing this story I googled a bit and found a name. My wife refused to tell me the name of the woman but when I said 'Venetia Phair' she was very surprised as she thought the whole thing was a massive wind-up.

Comment Re:Yeah ... (Score 1) 432

You sir, are an anonymous fuckwit. Many educated people [including myself and my wife who is a nurse] were worried about the MMR debate. Many recent UK governments have badly screwed up health problems [mad cow disease, salmonella etc.] After some thought, we decided to go ahead with the normal vaccine as the single vaccines would have exposed our daughter to even greater risk. In the end the original study was discredited but my point is; when the government and authorities screw things up enough, even people with common sense and education doubt what they are being told.
Transportation

Wave Powered Boat to Sail From Hawaii to Japan 152

CaroKann writes "In the middle of May 2008, Kenichi Horie, an adventurer known for such feats as paddling a pedal powered boat 4,660 miles from Hawaii to Okinawa in 1993, will be sailing a wave powered boat from Honolulu's Hawaii Yacht Club to the Kii Channel in Japan. The boat, a 3-ton catamaran named the Suntory Mermaid II, works by virtue of the fins located at the front of the boat. These fins "generate thrust force by moving up and down like the tails of dolphins and whales and absorbing the energy of the waves." The system can propel the boat no matter which direction the waves come from. Because the wave propulsion system absorbs the energy from the waves, a passenger on the boat will experience a smooth ride. With a top speed of about 5 knots, the journey is expected to take about 2 to 3 months."

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